Nightly News   |  August 23, 2013

Giving employees the gift of time

This summer an ad agency in Minnesota gave their employees 500 hours to figure out what they’re passionate about and go do it. KARE’s Boyd Huppert reports from Minneapolis.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally tonight, while most of us here have spent the summer working, say for a week or two of vacation, a group of co-workers in minneapolis have spent their summer away from the office doing what they love. here's the clincher -- at full pay. 0 a reporter at our nbc affiliate in kare-tv has more on a precious gift, time off.

>> reporter: another summer racing by. so many plans, so little time .

>> this is creeping time.

>> reporter: for janie, this summer is different.

>> blown away my neighbor goes did you win the lottery or something and i'm like kind of. i sort of did. i won the time lottery.

>> stunned more than anything else.

>> reporter: stewart is janie's boss at barry d' rozario murphy. the agency gathered workers and gave them time.

>> you have 500 hours of your life back. and figure out what you are passionate about and go and do it.

>> reporter: kim schmidt grooth grew up wanting a horse. she spent her 500 paid hours volunteering at a horse shelter.

>> so why now? it's because i had the opportunity and because i was -- the opportunity was pushed on me.

>> reporter: pushed on all of the 18 employees who spent the summer traveling, making music and putting paint to canvas. steve commutes from minnesota to seattle. instead stayed home for the summer . recording moments with his children.

>> my project is basically replacing i wish i had with a i did.

>> it's a dream.

>> reporter: while she molded her daughters in to her first sculpture.

>> the trust people to do something with this time.

>> reporter: a few days back their 500 hours ended. the race of commerce back on. but scattered throughout the office are subtle reminders.

>> a little blister.

>> reporter: of a summer landscaping a yard, tending horses.

>> that is underwater .

>> reporter: and making memories with kids.

>> my hope is now they will back, people will realize the things you wanted to do you could always be doing and find a place for in your life.

>> reporter: day after day we let the sun go down on our dreams because we can't take time. maybe it's time to start giving. nbc news, minneapolis.